Top Ten Cyber Crime Skills in High Demand

Tuesday, May 10, 2011



With trillions of dollars in electronic funds available for the taking, cyber crime has become big business.

Like any other rapidly expanding business sector, particular expertise and skills are increasingly in demand, presenting exceptional career opportunities for those with less than noble character dispositions.

At the recent FOSE conference - a government IT trade show - deputy assistant director in the FBI's cyber division Steven Chabinsky identified the top ten skill sets for the blossoming cyber crime industry.

"The cyber underground now consist of subject matter experts that can focus all their time and energy on improving their techniques, their goods and services," said Chabinsky.

Expertise in high demand include:

1. Coders/programmers, who write the exploits and malware used by the criminal enterprise. Contrary to popular belief, Chabinsky noted that coders who knowingly take part in a criminal enterprise are not protected by the First Amendment.

2. Distributors, who trade and sell stolen data and act as vouchers for the goods provided by other specialists.

3. Tech experts, who maintain the criminal enterprise's IT infrastructure, including servers, encryption technologies, databases, and the like.

4. Hackers, who search for and exploit applications, systems and network vulnerabilities. 

5. Fraudsters, who create and deploy various social engineering schemes, such as phishing and spam.

6. Hosted systems providers, who offer safe hosting of illicit content servers and sites.

7. Cashiers, who control drop accounts and provide names and accounts to other criminals for a fee.

8. Money mules, who complete wire transfers between bank accounts. The money mules may use student and work visas to travel to the U.S. to open bank accounts.

9. Tellers, who are charged with transferring and laundering illicitly gained proceeds through digital currency services and different world currencies.

10. Organization Leaders, often "people persons" without technical skills. The leaders assemble the team and choose the targets.


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